Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is clearly impacting every sector of society. Charles has specifically dived into applying AI in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) domain. AEC is one of the largest industries in the world. Yet it has not gained much productivity boost over the past several decades.
With a research team at Columbia University, the project investigated how advanced digital technologies developed in recent years may offer tremendous potential to tackle the persistent challenges in modernizing the AEC industry. Examples of these technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning, computer vision, big data analytics, Building Information Modeling (BIM), 3D scanning, Augmented Reality (AR), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), autonomous driving, and blockchain. It is envisioned that the next-generation platform for the AEC industry shall integrate this diverse list of digital technologies. The project reviews the state-of-the-art in related literature aiming at creating such an integrated platform consisting of four themes.
- AI-based data acquisition and BIM model generation: this topic addresses how to make BIM models more ubiquitous, which includes the automatic generation of As-planned BIM model from 2D drawings and the automatic generation of As-built BIM model from site images/videos and point clouds.
- Blockchain-based collaboration: this theme explores the possibilities of applying blockchain for AEC to improve various essential aspects such as trust in multi-party collaboration and contract enforcement.
- Augmented Reality (AR)-based visualization: this topic studies AR-based visualization for construction management, which aims to increase the efficiency of information transmission.
- AI-based Construction management: this area reviews the application of AI in progress monitoring, safety management, quality management, and contract management.
Based on the above analysis, the project outlines a research framework for creating a next-generation AI platform for AEC.